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Yes....Maidenhead United

Started on 14 August 2011 by Kiwi
Latest Reply on 5 November 2011 by Kiwi
  • POSTS21
  • VIEWS31624
Hi, my name is David and I am a….newbie.

I will also admit that I have updated my FM software from FM06 to FM11 after someone “made me an offer I couldn’t refuse” on Ebay.

After knocking around for a while with perennial favourites, Reading, I decided to challenge myself, inspired by the stories here, to manage Maidenhead United, with a view to them becoming the new United, a truly global brand, and European powerhouse. Dreams aside for a moment, as I seem to be having a few issues which I was hoping to get comment and suggestions on.

I am running within my wage budget of $7500, but yet, 3 months in, I am running a dirty big financial hellhole of close to (140K). I have bought and sold all of my players on frees, but the revenue isn’t coming through the door. I have season ticket sales of 80, and home game attendance of 300. What is most disappointing is that I am winning, and still the punters don’t come.

I can’t get any big names to sign, even smallish names that are unemployed, and I had high hopes for a young-in called Jarrod Smith, who is a Kiwi like me, until the work permit police rang me and said “the computer says no”. England Triallists don’t want to sign……it is a tough life of a BSS manager. Does anyone have any thoughts on how to increase revenue, because the flow on affect is that I can’t increase the facilities, the capacity or pretty much do anything with the board. I am thinking that I might have to sell either or both of my starting strikers, Stefan Connor and Simon Smith, although both have been in fantastic form, as has the only remnants of Maidenhead prior to my tenure, Will Hendry.

I got caught here, well and truly so am asking about others experiences, or is it just my bad luck?

Yes, I’d readily agree that my Nan who is 85 years old and lives in Sussex would have more clues about footy than my two 6-9 and 3-4 ability/potential scouts. And I’ll also agree that not being able to meet the most basic of wage demands puts me on the back foot with most negotiations, but I digress, I uncovered a fella called Paul Taylor, a striker cum attacking midfielder, who sounded like the sort who would be able to marshal the midfield for me. 23 years old, ex Anderlecht, the signs were all good. And I am paying him $500 per week, which while not in Chelsea or Man City league, is a sizable part of my wage budget. Scouts pegged him for a L1 talent and would be a key man for the team.

Sign him only to discover the poor wee sausage is “suffering from an undisclosed illness”…..until 30.6.11 (ie a year after I sign him). Now he is contracted for two years, and I can only hope he makes good next year. What have others experienced? Have you had this situation before? Does the player come back and go on to be a superstar? Given he is out injured, I can’t flog the character as he’d fail a medical and there has been less than bog all interest in him. This is yet another reason the board are disappointed…

Any comments and advice would be gratefully received.

-The Dodgy Kiwi
bl007's avatar Group bl007
12 yearsEdited
1. Arrange as many AWAY friendlies as you can in pre-season, or through the whole season using the reserve team.


Luton Town money problems.

2. See if there are any players who are out of contract that you can let go.
Thanks for the reply bl007 - I'm either naive, or it isn't working. I've tried to tour with my reserves and the screen simply populates with "date unavailable." I even tried to tour and I was only able to travel to Scotland (go figure) and I wasn't able to organise any games.

# bl007 : 1. Arrange as many AWAY friendlies as you can in pre-season, or through the whole season using the reserve team.


Luton Town money problems.

2. See if there are any players who are out of contract that you can let go.
I feel a story thread coming here, I'll need to be careful with my posts as, I am sure with everyone else, life is busy. Three months in, I'm winning everything, which is great, losing money, which is....not so great, the board love me, which is great, they won't pay for any upgrades, which is bad, I have low ranked scouts and coaches which doesn't help and injuries, red cards, and bad stamina levels will make life....interesting.

My goalie is averqaging a shade under seven per game and I don't know whether it is because he is fantastic or just a function of the strikers that couldn't hit a barn door.

All I need now is for someone to swoop for either of my starting strikers, or my EU qualified American R/L wide midfielder and the board take the dosh and I would be in the....

Money, but in the market for new players.

I'll write something up proper like over the weekend...could someone point me in the direction of how to post pics here?


-The Dodgy Kiwi
My only advice to you would be stick at it. Try and arrange so friendlies against rivals as this will bring the fans in and a good cup run wont do you any harm especially if you can get to 3rd round fa cup again prem opposition
Is there a limit to the number of friendlies you can arrange in a season? I have being trying to arrange masses of them in Aust and NZ for after the squad gets back from holiday and have booked out July with away reserve games and under 18 against non A league sides. Money spinner which is generating 30-35K per game.

I'm now trying to load games for 31 July (game date is 19 May) - my calender is empty and trying to select opponents, but the "select for friendly" button when I look at potential opponents has vanished....?

Thoughts anyone?
Kiwi's avatar Group Kiwi
12 yearsEdited
Tough choices have been made, players have left, new players have arrived, friendlies have been set to be "a nice little earner" - will be especially important given I don't think I'll have an easier run to the 6th round of the FA Cup this term!

I've let my top earner CB go, my previous starting right FB, sold my 4th choice striker, the reserve left wing (who was my vice capt but had the stamina levels of a dead possum so could play half a game) all my fringe players mostly (except for that Taylor that no one will touch with a ten foot pole), and have everyone looking at my 3rd striker.

Bought in two new strikers, a CB, Right FB and a Left winger thus far, still looking for a reserve keeper, but my previous keeper, Gulpin, was on 95 pw and in terms of wages was just was dirt cheap, so may have to put up with him.

Have just had the board say.....

Wage budget min 12.5K
Transfer budget 550K minimums to avoid regulation from BSP!
Taylor is a beast, just check out the first seasons of the "revenge of the bloods"-story!
Thanks for your comment L3nnart - I gave up on Taylor, sold him to Forest Green with two of my other players, although I am not sure that sold is the right phrase. Think he did go for 2K though.

I've basically remoulded the team, bought in a lot of new talent and am still debating whether to flick my previous starting CB, Ashley Homes, he is favoured personnel and I have just stripped him of the vice-captaincy and my two previous starting strikers (Stefan Connor and Simon Smith), who I have an emotional attachment to, but I think I need to sell. Emotion doesn't pay the bills (the friendlies do) and if they add nothing to the team they need to go.

My midfield is well resourced so Williams, Hendry, Spiegelberg and Quinn, who served me so well, are all surplus to requirements. I've flogged utilities Kenny Keys, Kevin McGarry and back-up striker Tommy Amos on six month loans.
Leaves Tomos Roberts, who is covering left FB while I have international commitments.

But it means that the only remainder I should have of my victorious BSS team is my goalie Josh Swann, who is now my backup keeper and I don't think he'll see much game time.

I can't buy a work permit for non EU players yet, which was a pity because my scouts came across a Guinean regen CB that would have walked into my starting team and I am still struggling to sign English Triallists (!!) but my Board love me and it is only a matter of time.

Onwards and upwards to League Two....that might be premature though as I haven't started the BSP season yet!

# l3nnart : Taylor is a beast, just check out the first seasons of the "revenge of the bloods"-story!
I'm about twelve games into BSP with Maidenhead (game time Oct '11), and have only settled on my GK, my FBs and strikers. Still experimenting with CB combination, especially as I have had two red cards against me (CB ankle tapping in the money zone – cost me a card and a goal). Worse one was my Capt (inf 16) got his marching orders…..bad enough right? He was my multicover DRLC, next game both my DLs are on int’l duty (Hélan with U19 France, Tomos Roberts with U21 Wales), so was in a right (or is that left?) pickle. Enter Ashley Homes, the vicey from the first part of this year to play out of position at Fullback and not get exposed too much.

Don’t be surprised, but I am finding this level a lot more difficult then BSS, and I have to tinker with my set pieces, corners now don’t always equal goals to the same level as they once did.

I am helped by the fact that I have some superstars coming up through the ranks, no, not home grown, that would be far too much to ask at the moment, but I did pick up some great players in the transfer market which hadn’t cut it at EPL or Championship level.

My question is this, I have some young players who my scouts (such as they are) think are long term prospects, and I have given them first team slots (two strikers, one multi-midfielder playing left wing for me and my right fullback. They will all play every game on my schedule (injury permitting) but, I have substandard facilities – granted the board is upgrading them – but they are still rubbish and will be for a LONG time, and, at best, 2.5 star coaches.

Even though I can guarantee game time for these players, would it be in the best long term interests of both them and the club to see whether I can loan them to a club with better facilities, even though they might play in the reserves?

Another thing I have thought about, buying in a cheap (or free, it is Maidenhead after all), old, player who could mentor them.

Players are (if it helps)
Sean Ecclestone ENG ST (Age 17 – regen)
Harry Bunn ENG ST (18 – non regen)
John Flanagan ENG DR (19 – non regen)
Chris Briggs ENG AM RCL (17 – regen – this fella is a bit on the short side too)

Has anyone else had a similar predicament?
Argh - January 2012!! I managed to get $50K for Paulie Quinn from Millwall and I didn't need him so everyone is happy. Still trying to flog Williams, Smith (who is being a right little sod about it), Connor and Homes. Couple of my players from last year are on loans, so it does lighten the wage budget.

I'm carrying a couple of injuries - Montano, Davies (my goalie), couple of midfielders and both my starting CB Lynch, and the reserve, so all is not happy, but I am still on track for Promotion.

I'm booked for a 4th round away fixture in the FA Cup with Wolves, which I am bound to lose, the best I can hope for is not to leak seven goals like I did during my exit to eventual finalists West Ham last year.

My facilities were upgraded towards the end of last year, and my academy is being built, due for completion at the end of the season, I have plenty of cash - or enough to be "secure", but the board request to upgrade facilities has not yet reappeared.

I've managed to lock in my strikers - who I will admit - are fantastic, on full time contracts for a couple of years, and have only just managed to retain the services of key backroom staff. I am still struggling to remove the 10% wage increase per year and the 25% promotion increase, the only way I've been able to attempt it is to lowball the wage offer, and always start at about 40-50% of their initial offer, remove all bonuses and work from there.

I'll look at picking up better quality employees in the next term, so no one is irreplaceable ....I have a scout offshore, and he is the one I renewed last year, and is forever reporting back and saying nothing to report. Why you little....!! If I could afford to sack him I would, and I have my eye on a Brazilian to replace him, I just can't afford the wages. Most I afford is still $400 for scouts, $575 for staff and max $1000 for key players. Doesn't help when my left FB, who I would love to retain, wants to start re-negotiations at $2,100 p/w. Greedy!

Another bugbear: I am stick of my staff wanting me to sign players, me requesting a report card from one and a two match run down from the other top scout (the lessons I learned from Taylor - bless, he was good for something!) only for them to say "quality signing, but still 7th best in the position" - why would I do that? And most of the players that I get the message to "sign at any price", also have "would have no intention of signing for you at this time."

And my attendance is still pretty much at 800, give or take, about 18% of capacity and a poor comparison to the rest of the league.
Kiwi's avatar Group Kiwi
12 yearsEdited
Managed to make the end of the second season, league sewn up, 4th round of the FA Cup and a comfortable 2-0 win in the FA Trophy Final. Academy is due be to finished at the end of June and the squad have just gone on their end of season break.

I have cash abound due to the "friendlies" that I played (circa 7.25M - and the club is only worth 6.25M). Hmmmm something doesn't sit right there. Takeover bid soon? Heck, if I could find something that was only worth 6.25 but had cash reserves of 7.25, I'd be keen.

I have to say that I have some players that have really stood out for me this year, and they look like dead cert starters for me in League Two. The other impressive aspect is these have all be cast offs bought in from, granted, EPL clubs on free transfers in the second year of game play.

1) Bunn - Striker - scored 49 goals this term and looks solid;

2) Flanagan - Right Fullback - fantastic tackler (averaging 5.31 per game with a solid 40 odd games) with good averages to boot (about 7.1) and all round hard man;

3) Helan - Left Fullback - creative genius, whose flair and skill with putting the up and under behind the defenders created goals. Not sure about my ability to keep him past next year though, wants fairly high wages to re-sign so will look to replace in the off season and sell him on if I can.

4) Ecclestone - striker - second half of the strike force, 32 goals and topped the assists with 23 (REGEN)

5) Philliskirk - midfielder - I didn't think much of this guy, only made him vice captain because of his influence score, checked the stats and this guys passing completion was running at 86% and the best in the league - became an instant starter.

Honourable mentions:
Tommasso Ferritti - CB - Slow, but great stats otherwise and very tall, bought in the Jan transfer window and scored 10 goals in half a season. Future captain (in waiting) (REGEN)

Loris Karius - GK - Again, bought in the Jan window after not wanting to discuss a contract with me earlier, pushed Josh Swann off the bench and then Davis off the starting team. Has gone 700-800 mins without conceding at the back end of the season.

Cristian Montano - Striker - Unable to displace Bunn or Ecclestone from the starting eleven, he provided impetus from the bench and the occasional start. Ended with 20 goals and is allegedly the most "valuable" - in estimated value anyway - player on my books at season end. Left footedness provided point of difference.

We made some ground back after leading the league at the beginning of the season in the yellow and red stakes. It came back into line, and I ended with 37 bookings in the BSP and 2 red cards, which was in the lower half of the table.
So much rugby at the weekend - and I have to feel sorry for the Welsh, and Quade Cooper, the Aussie first five. And I was only kidding about feeling sorry for Quade Cooper, but this site is about football and not rugby! I also feel a little sorry for the French, losing to the mighty ABs. It was nerve racking stuff and we held out for a 8-7 victory. The most embarrassing aspect from a NZ viewpoint, was Ian Smith, a former NZ wicketkeeper, calling losing captain Thierry Dusautoir, Thierry Henry, not once but twice!

Lies - I told lies
I said I thought that I would keep mostly the same squad from BSP to challenge in League Two. I told a fib. I have made six more plays in the transfer window, with another 3 free agents on my radar for the January window. Am now on desperate hunt for a right FB to cover Flanagan.
Have managed to sign Helan and Flanagan to two year contracts - note - can decrease weekly demands with an increase in signing bonus -, but last years vice-captain, and pin point passing sensation, Philliskirk, wants a massive 3.9K per week, just inside my $4K max salary. Good those he is, and great though he may be, I'll look to offload him.

I have also spent money!!! Shock horror, and the largest of which was compo (250K) on an Algerian left winger, Djamel Ibouzidene, (is he a CB IRL?), as while Chris Briggs has strong utility value being able to cover all midfield and attacking midfield positions, doesn't possess, in my opinion, the skill set to be a starter in league football. I took a punt, fully expecting the work permit to be turned down.....and it got accepted. I was a little surprised that the work permit was granted, and it has made me a tad cautious regarding the relative expense.

Other money spent was 28K on a left midfield/fullback cover from Romania with EU passport, Vasile Fenesan, and probably the bargain of the season was an Argentine midfielder/striker, Federico Vavassori, who has scored playing striker in each of my pre-season friendlies thus far. He'll probably get pushed into the attacking midfield role for the season proper, to accommodate Bunn and Eccleston. But with EU nationality (Italian) and a 10K spend, I am hoping for great things from him. It does mean a slight alteration to my formation, with the attacking minded midfielder moving forward to slot in behind the two strikers.

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